Lisa Baorne Social Media ExpertSearch for small business social media marketing and articles from one author consistently appear in the results – Lisa Barone.

Lisa is VP of Strategy for Overit Media and is a prolific writer with a focus on small business social marketing. A focus, of course, that we share. Her experience runs deep and her perspectives are very insightful.

We reached out to Lisa to get her thoughts on a few specific social media questions for the small business. She generously provided us with some terrific comments and insights. Keeping with our usual three points on social media format,  we’re thrilled to share her answers to 3 of our questions here:

1)   Facebook is probably essential for any business (but tell us if you disagree) but what, if any, of the other platforms do you think every business must utilize?

I’m hesitant to say any platform is a “must” for your business. It really depends on where your audience is and what your goals are. With  one billion people  on Facebook, is your audience there? It certainly could be. But don’t assume they are just because Facebook is loud and shiny, or because you see your competitors hanging out there.  Find out.

Ask your customers where they hang out. Ask them where they’d like to see you. Ask them how they’d prefer to contact you online. Look at your analytics to see what sites are sending you traffic. Those are the sites you must utilize, but you don’t want to make assumptions as to what those are.

2)   Any standout small business social media marketing efforts that come to mind?

Watching Matt Inman raise more than $1.3 million on social media to build a Tesla Museum was pretty cool.

Really, any time I see a person or an SMB using social media to connect with their audience (instead of just blasting them with promotional content) makes me pretty happy. I recently shared a survey that found just 42 percent of SMBs were looking at conversion when they gauge their social media efforts and that only 46 percent use social media for customer service.  To me, that represents not only a missed opportunity but a misunderstanding of the true value of social media.

 3)   What about standout mistakes? Any examples of small businesses doing it wrong that you might like to cite as well?

Any time your corporate account makes a joke about the President’s dead grandmother, that’s a problem. I’ve seen small business owners delete negative (but fair) comments made about them on Facebook. Or avoid getting involved in social media at all for fear that people would say bad things about them. Most of the mistakes I’ve witnesses are either fear-based or the result of not having proper procedures in place.

We’ll have some more of Lisa’s insights in the near future as well and you can tap into more of her thoughts on the Overit Media Blog too.